Spotted: awesome throwback rice packaging. I’ve been seeing this packaging more and more around town from specialty Japanese food and/or rice shops. This 2kg bag of rice from Arobo in Hiroo is a more modern take on the design.
Note: Japanese rice is a great omiyage (souvenir). It’s flavorful with a great texture that’s hard to find outside of Japan – especially if it’s from this year’s harvest! Visit one of the specialty rice shops like Suzunobu in Meguro.
Many places on Ishigaki have a laid-back island feel that’s just so darn relaxing and cute. It’s surprisingly under-developed, which makes you feel like you’re in the country – a countryside with an ocean view. One of my favorite spots that epitomizes this atmosphere is a little gelato shop MiruMiru. We went every day! Continue reading
Big news!! I started working part time for Fresca – a new gourmet online marketplace in Japan. Right up my alley, right?! All of the food and products are thoroughly vetted for quality, taste, and brand image. And guess who gets to do some of the vetting? Yup – right up my alley, indeed :)
Fresca specializes in famous, hip brands, boutiques, and restaurants from Japan and abroad. Perfect for expats or anyone who loves food and dinner parties! Some of my favorites are Intelligentsia and Toby’s Coffee (finally.. good coffee in Tokyo!), common good, Azuman’s Sendai beef (grade 5: best in Japan) and wasabi that I wrote about before, and Nobu. Continue reading
Purple sweet potatoes must be one of the most beautiful vegetables. Their natural color is better than any imitation food coloring out there. So when I came across a shop selling these sweet potato-filled buns steaming in a wooden box on a side street, I had to buy one! … And then I bought another. Continue reading
One of my favorite parts of Kawagoe was Penny Candy Alley (Kashiya Yokocho) that’s made of small alleyways, old merchant candy shops, and tons of traditional candy and snacks. It has such a great nostalgic feel that makes everyone reminisce about a simpler time. Even my husband ran around like a kid in a candy shop, and with big eyes, he asked me for 100 yen ($1)! Continue reading
This weekend, I finally made it to the historic town of Kawagoe or “Little Edo”, and it was even better than I expected! If you’re visiting Tokyo and would like to experience historic Japan, don’t miss this spot. Just an hour train or car ride from central Tokyo (30 min from Ikebukuro), this area transports you with its original pharmacies, ramen shops, shrines, and candy shops. Some of the buildings are originals from the 1600s that survived the earthquakes, bombings, and fires. Continue reading
I’ve been meaning to visit Kawagoe 川越市 for awhile now, and with the beautiful weather yesterday morning, I thought it’d be the day. By the time we got to Ikebukuro Station, the wind picked up so all of the trains stopped until they could travel more safely. Not wanting to wait around indefinitely, I strolled around Ikebukuro instead, where I spotted this small taiyaki shop (pronounced: tie-yah-key).
Taiyaki is a Japanese sweet snack made from pancake batter, cooked in a fish-shaped mold, and stuffed with red bean paste. It can be filled with other things such as chocolate, custard, or cheese, but red bean paste is the most common and traditional.
Shinjuku Tsubakian is owned by a sweet woman, who is nothing but smiles and polite words. She cooks everything to order so your taiyaki is fresh, hot, and crunchy! Everything is homemade, and her shop specializes in thick crust teriyaki for 150 yen.